A five-year old boy went on an iTunes spending spree on his parents parents’ expense, running up a bill of over £1,700 on the service.
Sharon and Greg Kitchen were horrified as emails from Apple flooded in, which confirmed that son Danny had begun a haul of purchases.
Talking to the BBC, it is understood Mr Kitchen had entered iPad’s password in order to grant son Danny access to the app store in order to purchase a free app.
However, unaware of his actions, the youngster had begun to purchase in-game content costing real-money, which was then charged to the parents’ account. Soon enough, the bill has surpassed £1,700.
Whilst Apple has stated it will refund the costs, it also stressed to parents that all of its iOS devices offered parental controls, which work to prevent such incidents happening.
Apple’s app store has faced similar controversy recently, with an increasing number of similar cases being reported.
Parents have voiced their concerns over the service, which they believe allows youngsters to purchase content far too easily. Once a parent inputs the password for their tablet device, the child is granted full access without having to know the password themselves – allowing them to purchase billable content without permission.
Apple has found itself in court over the issue, and recently stated it would begin to offer affected parents refunds and iTunes gift vouchers as compensation.
Even PCR’s publisher Lisa Carter has faced the wrath of the app store herself, with three-year old son Charlie spending over £100 worth of in-app content.
But despite Apple’s reassurance of parental control on its device, those features were not readily enabled on the iPad in this situation – something that parents have long called for.
As tablet devices increasingly boast a wider selection of apps and games and play a greater role in our everyday lives, it is inevitable that children will get their hands on such devices.
It’s now up to Apple to implement changes to prevent these situations from happening in the first place – right now, the firm just isn’t doing enough.
Boy using tablet image from Shutterstock